Vilnius Offensive

Chernyakhovsky ordered that his main mobile 'exploitation' forces, the 5th Guards Tank Army and 3rd Guards Cavalry Corps continue their advance from Minsk on July 5 in the direction of Vilnius, with the aim of reaching the city by the following day: they were to encircle Vilnius from the south and north respectively. The rifle divisions of 5th Army were ordered to follow and close up to them. To the south, the 39th Army was directed to move on Lida, while the 11th Guards Army would advance in the Front's centre.

Soviet reports suggested that units on their northern flank advanced to schedule, noting some resistance from scattered remnants of the destroyed VI Corps of Third Panzer Army, but stated that the 11th Guards Army in particular encountered strong German resistance and several counter-attacks. The 5th Panzer Division was, however, unable to hold Maladzyechna. The Soviet 5th Army was able to advance to the outskirts of Vilnius by July 8, while the 5th Guards Tank Army encircled the city from the south, trapping the garrison.

Lida, another rail junction, was taken by the 3rd Guards Cavalry Corps on the evening of July 8, after the German defenders (largely from the notorious SS units of Gruppe von Gottberg and the Kaminski Brigade) abandoned their positions in old WWI trench lines, despite reinforcement from Weidling's units. The latter gave up their attempt to hold the city on July 9.

On June 22, 1944, the Soviets launched their main summer offensive (Operation Bagration) in Belarus. Involving 2.5 million soldiers and over 6,000 tanks, the offensive sought to destroy Army Group Center while also preventing the Germans from diverting troops to combat the Allied landings in France. In the ensuing battle, the Wehrmacht suffered one its worst defeats of the war as Army Group Center was shattered and Minsk liberated.